- PRODUCER: Tip Top Proper Cocktails are based out of Atlanta. The lineup was created and crafted by James Beard finalist, Miles Macquarrie, an Atlanta bartending star.
- FLAVORS: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, Daiquiri, Margarita, Bee's Knees
- ABV: 24-37%
- MSRP: $34.99 for an 8-can pack
SHARE WITH: It's a personal-sized drink, so maybe your seat mate (but only if you know them, of course). Otherwise, anyone who enjoys a well-made cocktail.
WORTH THE PRICE: If you purchase an 8-pack, at under $4.50 per can, it's a great price for a well-made cocktail. If imbibing in the sky, the economics also check out: a traditional alcoholic spirits drink costs $10 for a 50ml plus mixer; but, for just $2 more, you get something much more special and even celebratory.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle, er, Can? These are great on an airplane or just hanging at home when you do not want to fuss with making a drink.
OVERALL: I recently took my first post-quarantine flight and, as a former frequent traveler, I had so missed the ritual of snagging a cocktail mid-flight to signal the true end of the day or the beginning of vacation. As our trip to visit family in Florida came to a close, I couldn’t wait to return to my old habits. With the pandemic, many airlines have changed their onboard food and beverage experiences to incur fewer touch points. One such change (and improvement!) is the addition by Delta of two ready to drink (RTD) cocktails by Tip Top. Passengers may choose from an Old Fashioned or a Margarita, both priced at $12 (or $9.60 with a Delta AMEX!), which can be drunk straight from the can or poured over ice.
As the Old Fashioned lover I am, my choice was obvious (though the Margarita is on deck for my next flight). The cocktail comes in the tiniest and cutest can with a giraffe in a top hat adorning the label. I poured the entire contents of the can over ice, and it filled to just under the lip of the cup.
The cocktail doesn’t have much nose at 10,000 feet, but I could glean a faint orange. The taste is excellent: it is very bitters forward (it’s an Old Fashioned!), not too sweet, with good whiskey flavor without a burn. The bitters seem to be a combination of orange and aromatic, but a cherry note also comes through. I don’t particularly care for cherry flavor in my Old Fashioned, but it isn’t cloying, and those who like the cherry (we can have a conversation another day), will like it.
Overall, if someone were to pour this over a big rock at a bar, garnish with a citrus peel, and serve it, I would not know it came from a can. Compared to every other cocktail I’ve had on an airplane, this is by far the best. In comparison to the other onboard offerings, this is a class above. It’s like getting first class drinks in basic economy. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy - it’s not the kind of drink that can be tossed back as easily as the other traditional beverage cart options due to its strength and bitter profile.
With Tip Top, Delta is really raising the bar for inflight beverage options. They have also improved their tonic and soda offerings by swapping in Fever Tree. I will certainly be adding the Tip Top Old Fashioned to my inflight rotation once I get back to more regular travel. I may even be adding an orange peel or two to my packing routine for maximum enjoyment. So if you want to markedly improve your next flight, I highly encourage you try this excellent beverage on your next Delta flight.
BRAND TASTING NOTES
Bourbon Whiskey - Orange Bitters - Cane Sugar
The Old Fashioned is the original cocktail. It’s as classic as it gets and, when done right, it’s the mark of a master. You want to taste the bourbon, followed by a hint of sweet orangey citrus and rounded out at the finish with the warming spice of bitters.
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, citrus and caramel on the palate going into a stone fruit and spice finish.